The essence of keeping money at the bank is largely threefold; safety from theft and fires, for interest, and to discourage unnecessary spending.
Unfortunately, however, the banks also are not immune from theft and fraud. In fact, a recent Bank of Ghana report has noted that the number of fraud cases reported in the country in 2018 has increased by 50 percent.
The report, which captured the prevalence of fraud in the sector over the period, noted that the various forms of advanced technologies adopted by financial institutions have made the sector more susceptible to various risks such as phishing, identity theft, card skimming, vishing, email fraud and other sophisticated types of cyber-crime.
But in spite of this worrying picture, the good news is that, monies of customer are insured against such frauds or fires.
Here in Ghana, it is not clear if all the banks can be said to be that safe, or for lack of a better word, convenient. This is because reports reaching THE NEW PUBLISHER about happenings at Ecobank, for instance, are not too palatable.
The bank, though considered among the ten largest in the country, may have a couple of questions to answer, when it comes to account safety.
George, a resident of Accra, narrated how GH¢2,000 was withdrawn from his account at the Kumasi Stadium branch of the bank, with a cloned cheque number 000498, since 19th March, 2019, but had been left to his fate, despite several reports to the headquarters.
He said even after internal investigations by the bank confirmed he did not make the withdrawal, no attempt was being made for a refund or compensation. Currently, his fate is in the balance.
What is most pathetic is that, George was made to pay for the printing of a new cheque book, after he was asked to submit his old booklet.
This may be a one-sided story, but THE NEW PUBLISHER is compelled to go ahead with this editorial piece because it had not received any cooperation from the Ecobank headquarters in Accra.
Several attempts to reach the Public Affairs and Audit Departments of the bank proved futile. At the last attempt over a week ago, a lady at the customer service, who gave her name as Linda, assured the paper she had forwarded our request to the appropriate office for response, but that was the end of the story. Apart from that, one Fred of the bank’s Audit Department, who had been handling the case since March 19, would also not pick our calls.
The paper, having gone through this unpalatable experience at the hands of Ecobank, is compelled to believe the perception that the bank may not be giving the best of treatments to customers.
This is very bad. While we do not intend to paint Ecobank in any bad light, we still owe the public a duty to publish what we perceive to be true.
We think Bank of Ghana can do something about a case like this.
Called Linda who promised the public affairs unit would get back to me
Tried to reach one Fred of the Audit department, but would not pick.